A few weeks ago my GFBC BFF lifegroup got together to paint wooden front door hangers. Our instructor was Tammy Westbrook of Two T’z in a Pod. She provided us with everything we needed to complete our project. Our only effort was to paint our chosen door hanger, either a bird or flower arrangement. As about 30 of us got together that night to work, the constant theme was “I am just not good at this” or “yours is a lot better than mine.” We each were judging our piece based on how the other artwork around us looked. We were in the comparison mode, but the truth is we all left there with a finished hanger, and they all looked great. It was just when they were being compared to each other we all felt like ours lacked in some way.
Comparison is a constant theme I am hearing and studying about lately. I have been reading a book by Nicki Kozariz titled “Why Her? 6 Truths We Need to Hear When Measuring Up Leaves us Falling Behind” along with doing the Bible study she wrote on “Rachel and Leah: What Two Sisters Teach us about Combating Comparison.” (You can read Rachel and Leah story for yourself in Genesis 29-30.) Since I have not finished either one I will refrain from giving a critique; however, it has gotten me to thinking about how many times a day I compare myself to those around me. I have to say it is a constant stream of thought going through my mind. I want to share with you some insights I have gained.
I looked up the definition of comparison on dictionary.com and found the first two definitions were: the act of comparing and the state of being compared. Or another two words are envy and jealousy. Isn’t this so true during our day we are either constantly comparing ourselves or being compared by others. So how do we break this act of comparing?
First, we have to be aware of the comparison. I am constantly comparing, grading and measuring myself against other people. Comparison is not something we can avoid in life, but it is something we can be aware of and take note of how we act and react. Social Media is our worst enemy in the comparison game. I look at other people and judge myself against what others post. I am sure you have all heard something about someone and thought or said “well it must be nice,” and the comparison, envy, jealousy, and coveting begin popping up again.
A year or so ago my friend, Debbie, started posting about the realities of life. I have another friend that posts Marriage Chronicles of the things she is discovering about being a newlywed. When we stop and really look, things are not really how they seem. Not everyone I know is always hopping off to a great vacation somewhere or buying the latest and greatest thing. I have to change my perspective and see things like they really are. Others’ lives may have some good things happen in them, but the reality is, most of them have junk in their lives just like me.
Secondly, I have to learn to combat the comparison and realize I have done nothing wrong. When the coveting and comparison rears its ugly head, be it a friend getting married for the second or third time (and I am still single), or those having babies or grandbabies around me (and I am still Single), or a husband and wife celebrating a wedding anniversary (and I am still Single), or going on dates (and I am still Single), I have to learn to focus on what is truth in my life. I have done nothing wrong. It is just not God’s timing for me to be married. Will it every be? I don’t know, but I’d rather be single than be in a relationship not ordained by God. Then I’d just put myself in a mess and the comparison would be worse. Cause I would be wanting to know why my marriage was not like hers. One of the quotes in the book Why Her? is “We have to find contentment with who we are without becoming complacent in who we are becoming.”
We have to find contentment with who we are without becoming complacent in who we are becoming.
Thirdly, I haven’t loss anything, by those around me gaining something and I can’t become discourage by the success of others. Just like in the story of Leah and Rachel. Rachel had not lost Jacob’s love even when Leah was having babies. 2 Corinthians 10:12 (CSB) says, “For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.”
Nicki has the “Bless Her” Prayer in the book Why Her? She says that “anytime the enemy starts to slip in a lie of lack in your soul as you’re looking at someone who’s gaining, as you’re beginning to feel like you’re losing, there is something you can do” pray for both you and her. Her gain is not my loss and I have to keep doing what God has called me to do.
So the next time you are struggling with comparison, try to say the “Bless Her Prayer” and change your perspective.
God, today I’m praying for _____ (insert their name). I am grateful You have gifted her with the ability to _______ (insert their gift/opportunity). You are a good God who gives each of us good gifts. I pray that today would be a good day of increase with the ability to use those gifts in her life. Help _____ (insert their name) to use her time, resources and gifts wisely today. Surround her with what she needs most. And bless her greatly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Bless Her Prayer” by Nicki Koziarz. Excerpt from Chapter 9 of Why Her? 6 Truths We Need to Hear When Measuring Up Leaves Us Falling Behind. Find her book at you local bookseller or on Amazon.